GENERAL RULES - 2017-18
The purpose of the New Jersey Women's Platform Tennis League is to promote the sport of platform tennis through the organization of healthy and friendly competition between clubs. The spirit of the NJWPTL is fair play and good sportsmanship, whether it be with lineups, substitutes or how matches are played. The League has the discretion to treat situations individually. If the spirit of the League has been violated, notification will be given.
LEAGUE STRUCTURE/MATCH PLAY
- Member clubs must be willing and able to field 4 courts (8 players) per team each week of play according to the league schedule. The League reserves the right to limit the number of teams per club depending on courts available.
- The league year is comprised of two distinct seasons. The first season is from October to December and the second season is from December to February.
- A team must commit to playing for both seasons each year.
- Teams entering or re-entering the league begin in the bottom series or are placed at the discretion of the board.
- Schedules will be determined prior to the start of each season.
- APTA Rules of Play shall govern all matches, unless otherwise stated in these rules.
- Format of play is 4 courts (4 matches) of doubles. A match is best 2 out of 3 sets with a tiebreaker at 6-all. Maximum warm-up time is 15 minutes. Practice serves must be taken before play begins. A match begins when the first ball is served.
- Home team provides balls and refreshments for all regular season matches. Two new balls per court should be provided for warm-up. Extra balls should be available. Any APTA approved ball is acceptable.
- There are no rest breaks between sets. A maximum of one minute is allowed on changeovers, and 10 minutes for an injury. A quick bathroom break may be taken at the end of a set.
- Coaching during warm-ups and matches is prohibited. Spectators should not interfere with or offer assistance with the conduct of matches.
- Warm-ups for matches should start promptly at 9:15 AM on Tuesdays, unless a pre-play is in effect. Subsequent matches will follow as courts become available. When fewer than 4 courts are available, the visiting team will determine order of play. Home captains should contact visiting captains by 6:00 PM on the Friday before the match to confirm playing time.
- Pre-play of matches is allowed as long as both captains in the match agree. This does not grant teams the right to play out of order of strength in order to accommodate someone's schedule.
- Pre-plays may occur any time after the previous (originally) scheduled match.
- Captains should work in good faith to schedule preplays; multiple dates may have to be considered. Once a final pre-play time has been scheduled definitively and confirmed by both captains, the date stands and the match must be played at the scheduled time and date. The only acceptable reason to reschedule is weather.
- The home captain must confirm with the opposing captain via email, including the series leader in the email, the court number, date, time and location of the match to be played.
- Failure to play a match at an agreed upon time will result in a default by the team who cannot make the scheduled time.
- If weather prohibits a match from being pre-played, the match day is Tuesday.
- If there is a conflict between a pre-play agreement and the makeup day for a previous match, the makeup day takes precedence.
- Thursday is the make-up day for all matches, with exceptions made for Thanksgiving and APTA sanctioned tournaments. Regular Tuesday starting time remains in effect. If both captains agree, makeups can be played on Wednesday.
- If Thursday is weathered out, matches can be scheduled any day through the Monday following the original match date. The home captain must confirm with the opposing captain via email, including the series leader in the email, the players, date, time and location of the match to be made up.
- Matches unplayed at that time will result in no point awarded to either team.
- Once a match has been rescheduled and agreed upon by all both captains, the date stands. The only acceptable reason to reschedule is weather.
- In unusual circumstances, such as the death of a player or a club member, the board reserves the right to grant an extended period (up to a week) to reschedule for an individual court or the entire team or club. Captains must contact their series leader in such unfortunate cases.
- All players must be at least 21 years of age and be a member in good standing of their club, having met full paddle membership requirements. No full time high school or college student may play in league matches.
- A player may play for only one club during a season and for only one "team" during, or for, a scheduled week. Players may switch clubs between the first and second season.
- The league considers all members of a club to be one long team. Each week the top 8 available players should be rostered for the team in the highest series, the next 8 players play for the next highest series, etc. Team line-ups should reflect order of strength from court 1 of the highest series through court 4 of the lowest series.
- If a team loses a player before Sunday at 5:00 PM, and has no alternate player available, the next lower team must send up a player. This procedure ripples down through all teams.
- If an opening occurs after Sunday at 5:00 PM, the lower teams are not required to provide a player. The higher team takes a default on Court 4.
- Lower teams that refuse to send up players may be penalized.
- Clubs that have more than 2 defaults per season on teams other than their lowest teams may be assessed a penalty point by the board for the following season.
- No match may be defaulted without prior approval of the Series Leader or Series Rep, except in the case of a last minute injury, illness or no-show.
- Defaults are taken from the bottom to the top (i.e., Court 4 first, then Court 3,) except in the case of a no-show when play has begun on the other courts. It is then taken on the affected court.
- In the event of a default, the defaulting team must provide the names of both players who would have played in the match to the series leader before the match is defaulted. If two names are not provided on the defaulted court(s) prior to the match being played a penalty point will be assessed. The player who was available to play will be rostered on the score sheet; the unavailable player will be listed as "No Player Available." (If neither player was available, they will both be listed as such.) The lowest or only team for any club does not have to provide names but must notify the series leader of the default.
- A team receiving a default will be considered to have won the match 6-0, 6-0, but must provide the names of two legal, eligible players. However, if the team receiving the Default Win provides names that are in an illegal position, uses an illegal line-up, including unapproved illegal movement, playing out of order of strength, double plays and ineligible players, the match will be recorded as "UNPLAYED"; neither team will receive the win.
- No player listed for either team on a defaulted court can play for another team for the same scheduled match date. This is considered a "double play."
- Line-ups for each match must be written out prior to arrival at the courts and exchanged before the start of play. Players have the right to refuse to play until line-ups have been exchanged.
- Player movement is limited from week to week.
- An individual may move up or down two positions from where she last played.
- A pair may move up or down one spot from where they last played together, no matter how many weeks have passed since their last pairing.
- Any deviations from a or b must be approved by the Series Leader or Series Rep before the match is played. If you wait until Tuesday morning to seek permission you will probably not get it.
- Permission for an illegal move upward will be granted only if you and your Series Leader cannot come up with a legal alternative. Personalities and preferred side of court are not valid considerations.
- Movement at the start of the second season is independent of the first season but order of strength must be preserved.
- If a team has fielded an illegal line-up without permission, a penalty point will be assessed. If they won the match, they will be assessed a penalty point and their opponents will receive the match point. The score will be changed to 6-0, 6-0. Illegal line-ups include unapproved illegal movement, playing out of order of strength, double plays and ineligible players.
- Following an illegal move, approved or not, the players must use their last legal position(s) as a reference to determine their position for the next match.
- The Board reserves the right to penalize teams for the following season if they determine that excessive defaults or inappropriately placed players have affected the outcome of the Series. They will begin the following season with negative points.
- A player must play at least once in weeks 1 - 6 each season in order to be eligible to play in week 7. Exceptions will be considered only for a club having a single team and for the lowest team of a club with multiple teams.
- Court maintenance is necessary for safe play. If courts are poorly maintained on a regular basis, the Board reserves the right to request that an alternate site be found.
- If there is a possibility courts are unplayable due to weather, the home team captain of the first match should check her courts and inform the visiting captain of an unplayable condition NO LATER THAN 7:30 AM or 2 hours before the start time on match day.
- Captains may agree to using an alternate site. Otherwise, Rule 9 goes into effect.
- Home team captain must communicate whether or not your courts have working heaters.
- If the visiting team has been informed of a possible delay, a maximum of 30 minutes will be allotted after the visiting team arrives for the home team to clear the courts and make them suitable for play.
If the courts are not playable in that time frame, the home team defaults any courts that are not playable or the visiting captain may choose to reschedule on their own courts under Rule 9.
- If the visiting team has not received a phone call regarding court conditions and arrives to find that the home team courts are not playable due to conditions that occurred prior to that day (e.g., unremoved ice &/or snow, damaged equipment), the home team will forfeit any court that is not playable.
- If a player or team encounters problems en route,
- They must notify their opponent by or before the scheduled match time.
- If a team or player is 20 minutes late without notifying the opposing club, they have defaulted the match.
- Please make every effort to play matches, even if there is tardiness.
- Should there be an extraordinary delay which grossly compromises the start time of the match, the host team may apply Rule 9.
- Late arrivals are granted a 5-minute warm-up.
- If there is a dispute regarding line calls or foot faults during a match, one person from each team may stand at the net post to monitor the match, but will make a call only if asked.
- If a team feels that the opposing team has "juggled" its line-up, the match may be protested. Teams may question an opponent's line-up prior to play, and have it altered.
- Protests on this and other issues must be lodged electronically with your Series Leader within 36 hours of the match using the Protest Form from the NJWPTL website.
- Upon receipt of the Protest Form the Series Leader will electronically forward the protest to the opponents and to the Executive Committee.
- The captain of the team against whom the protest has been lodged must reply electronically to the Series Leader and the League President within 3 days of the match. The League President will electronically forward the reply to the captain of the team lodging the protest and to the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee and the Series Leader of the Series involved will review the information and make a final, non-negotiable decision. Any member of the Committee from the clubs involved in the protest will abstain from voting. The Series Leader will notify both captains of the decision. The Committee reserves the right to refuse to accept or to review a protest that is filed by a club that has not paid its NJWPTL dues and associated fees.
- If weather becomes an issue on match day:
- Captains should contact each other 2 hours before match time to discuss playing conditions. Captains can agree that matches should be rescheduled because of rain, snow, extreme cold, or hazardous driving conditions. Good judgment and cooperation between captains is required when weather conditions present possible hazards. In the case where a home club has fewer than 4 courts available and needs to schedule staggered matches, the later match(es) are considered to be a separate match in need of another agreement between the captains (or designated teammates) as the weather may significantly change from the time of the earlier decision.
- If both captains have agreed to play, all players must travel to the match site. Once there, any player can determine that it is unsafe to begin or continue play because of hazardous conditions. This is a court-by-court decision. If both captains have agreed not to travel to the match site due to weather issues, Rule 9 goes into effect.
- Matches postponed or suspended on Tuesday will resume according to Rule 9.
- On any court where play has not begun, line-ups may be changed for the make-up match.
- Courts defaulted on a day when weather becomes an issue are rescinded unless all other courts have begun play.
- A match resumes precisely where it was halted. Record game and set score, court placement and serving order so play can resume exactly where interrupted.
- The home captain is responsible for transmitting the line-ups and match results to her Series Leader by 5 pm the day of the match.
- Scoring for the season is cumulative, with each court worth one point. Standings for teams in each Series are independent for each season. Ties are broken by head-to-head match results. Further ties are broken by counting head-to-head sets won and head-to-head games won. If a tie remains it will be broken by counting total League sets won.
- In a default, the score is considered to be 6-0, 6-0.
- In a retired match (not completed due to injury or other complication), whatever games and sets are required to complete the match are awarded to the victors. The retiring side is credited with any games or sets won prior to retirement. For example, if the home team retires after winning the first set 6-4 and holding a 4-3 edge in the second set, the match is scored 6-4, 4-6, 0-6.
- At the end of each season, adjustments will be made in each Series whereby the top team in each Series (except Series 1) will automatically move to the next highest Series for the next half of the season and the lowest team in each Series (except Series 13) will move automatically to the next lowest Series.
- Should a vacancy occur, it will be filled at the Board's discretion.